Beyond reductionist thought, looking at a theoretical framework that embrace a complex dimension of knowledge, the urban planning discipline is going through a radical change. An attitude well expressed by a large group of intellectuals who recognize the fragility of the discipline and re-think themselves in opposition to the excess of specialization of the modern world to grasp the vital interconnection between things, the intersection spaces, on disciplinary boundaries, where concepts become images, symbols, practices, processes. In this ongoing change of paradigm, sensitive approaches and aesthetic rationalities arouse interest within urban and territorial studies. Starting from the interactive pedagogy of Geddes (1968), which proposes an engaged planning, capable of setting in motion a collective action of civic engagement and empowerment, with reference to authors who include aesthetic experience as a cognitive activity, paying attention to experiences of radical pedagogies (Freire, 1996; Dolci, 1972; Hooks, 2020) which have developed and adopted creative approaches, the idea of the paper is to discuss how art-based methods (Barone & Eisner, 2011; Kara, 2015; Knowles & Cole, 2008) and alternative spaces for learning and knowledge production may contribute to trigger critical spatial practices and contribute to urban research and planning.
Stefania Crobe is researcher working across the fields of visual arts, culture, creative methods and urban studies. She is currently lecturer in Urban and Regional planning at the University of Palermo (Italy). Actually she’s working at SOUTh / SCAPe – Social and Urban Transformations through a Southern Culture & Art-based Perspective that aims to critically investigate the processes of cultural-based urban regeneration realized in Palermo between 2014 and 2020.